Isiah Thomas Bravely Proclaims That Two-Time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo Could Have Played In His Era

I do mean that title sincerely. It's brave for anyone from the '80s and '90s to admit that basketball players, despite what some people will have you believe, are still really good at sports. I love Charles Oakley, I think we all do, last week he said that he used to think Giannis couldn't have played in his era. He changed his mind last summer after he saw Giannis will the Bucks to their first title since the Kareem days. I don't know why it took a Herculean effort to sway his mind, that's none of my business. The point is it's really hard for some old guys to admit these new guys are any good for reasons that escape me. 

The last time this argument was super prevalent was during Steph Curry's rise to world domination. You had dozens of old timers coming out of the woodwork saying he couldn't have survived back with hand-checking. For some reason people love to act like hand-checking meant defenders could use a .44 and shoot out your kneecaps as long as you had the ball. That argument always sucked for a couple reasons, but the one I was never able to shake was the fact that Steph's substantially worse father played his entire career exclusively in that era, averaging roughly 12 points a game - better known as less than half of Wardell's career average.

At least Steph's short. I can at least somewhat understand arguments against short people because what are they gonna do? They're short! You can barely hear their retort all the way down there. Just pat 'em on the head and move on with your day. Giannis is like if they let David Robinson run point for the Spurs. It's horrifying. I also appreciate how Isiah compared Giannis directly to Ralph Sampson before saying he's never seen anyone like him before. We've seen crazy athletic 7-footers dominate the League in every era of basketball. We haven't seen a whole heap of point centers like we have between Giannis and Nikola Jokic. 

Isiah admitting this is huge though. The Bad Boy Pistons were the epitome of Oakley's argument. It was too rough and tumble for Giannis? Imagine Bill Laimbeer trying to inflict one iota of damage to this guy? 

Yeah, good luck with that. 

Thankfully, it's not everyone who thinks like this. Like I said at the beginning, even Oakley still doesn't think like this. He saw the light. It took him some time, but he's on the right side of history. Then there's guys like Allen Iverson, completely comfortable with the mark they left on the game, no doubts about their legacy in the slightest, constantly bigging up the next generation. 


If I've said it once I've said it a thousand times: everyone should always be more like Allen Iverson.